Foreign if there's one shot in pickleball that really defines it as a sport You could argue that it is the third shot specifically the third shot drop Advanced players need to have this shot in their toolkit as it's a critical part of neutralizing a team that is at the.

Net and looking to pounce but sometimes people misunderstand what the third shot is all about and what makes it an effective one versus an ineffective one first off it's important to think about what the opponents are looking for when you play this third shot drop obviously they're quite happy if you hit.

The ball in the net or out of bounds but assuming you get the ball in play what are your opponents hoping for it's pretty clear that they'd like a ball that's nice and high and juicy one that they can hit downward and with speed so it's helpful to think about a good drop as being one that prevents the.

Opponents from getting what they want that is a good third shot drop forces the opponents to hit up on the ball by the ball moving low enough and slow enough that it descends between the net and the opponents hitting the shot will limit their ability to hit hard and still keep the ball in play.

So when we're assessing the quality of our drop the assessment shouldn't be based on where the ball lands or even if the ball lands and it shouldn't be based on which side of the net the Apex occurs but it should be based on what the shot does to the opponents does it force them to hit up on the ball if so you've done your job and if it.

Doesn't you haven't so what does it take to hit a really good drop really it's about controlling two variables the height of the ball and the speed of the ball line these up well and you've hit a successful drop.

Misfire and you won't it can be helpful to think about the target as being no more than one and a half paddle Heights over the net most successful drops go through this target but hitting through this window is not sufficient the ball must also be traveling slowly.

Enough that when it passes through this window it has enough time to drop before it gets to the opponent's paddle so that means speed control a short backswing will help to keep the ball moving slowly a compact backswing with a forward impact point and stable paddle face will make it much easier to keep the ball speed under control.

And of course controlling all of these variables is much easier if you are well set up at the moment of contact finally there's a reason that the pros typically send their drops cross-court when you hit down the line you're hitting over the highest part of the net also you're heading to the smallest part of the Court where you have to get the.

Ball down low hitting crossword on the other hand gives you a greater margin for error since the net is lower and you have more space to work with players should think about what they do after they hit their drop generally speaking if it's a successful drop It's relatively safe to move.

Forward since the opponents can't hit hard and still keep the ball in play if however the drop is net high or above players are better off staying back in anticipation of something fast what should you do if your partner is preparing to hit the third shot one option is to stay back and assess the quality of the drop before moving.

Forward if it's a good drop it's fairly safe to continue advancing if it's a poor drop you'll be happy that you stayed back so you'll have more time to defend if however you are confident with your partner's ability to hit a great drop you might start moving forward before.

They hit the ball while you're putting a lot of eggs in one basket this early movement will allow you to apply pressure on your opponents sooner again a lot comes down to how much trust you have in your partner to hit a high quality shot.

Third shot drops are not offensive shots after all you're hitting a slow moving ball right to your opponents but they can be shots that limits your opponent's ability to cause trouble they're neutralizing balls make sure your focus is on forcing your opponent to hit the ball up to get over the net since this will limit their.

Chances to hit hard and keep the ball in play maintaining great height and speed control is going to be important and playing cross-court will generally be a higher percentage option
The third shot drop is one of the most important shots in pickleball. Implement these third shot drop strategies from pro pickleball coach Mark Renneson into your game to maximize the output and efficiency of your third shot drop 📈

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